Former Nottingham Forest midfielder Chris Cohen believes that Martin O’Neill needs time to implement his philosophy.
The Reds did manage to win their last three games of the Championship season. It was important to end the season on a positive note, as prior to this run, they had suffered four consecutive defeats which ended their play-off hopes.
Martin O’Neill did switch formation from 4-2-3-1 to 3-4-2-1 which was a key reason behind the upturn in form. Jack Robinson was recently very complimentary about the Northern Irishman. The players certainly seemed to be enjoying themselves more in the latter stages of the season.
But this hasn’t been enough for the experienced manager to win around some of the club’s supporters. Some don’t believe that he is the right man to help lead a promotion push next season.
However, Cohen certainly doesn’t agree with that section of supporters. He believes that a manager needs at least a couple of years to really implement what they want.
Speaking to the Nottingham Post, he said: “Norwich stuck with Daniel Farke… there are lots of examples of it. You can go back over the years, to look at teams who have been successful; who get up to the Premier League and become consistent performers in the top flight.
“If there is consistency, structure and philosophy to what you do, you stick with people through the good times and the bad.
“There are exceptions, of course. Watford seem to do things another way. But I am not sure there are as many examples of that working, as the other approach.
“Hopefully now is the time for us.”
There’s no doubt that the Reds have made significant progress. They may have made yet another managerial change midway through the season, but there weren’t any fears about relegation at any stage. That hasn’t been the case for a number of years.
The challenge for O’Neill will be to take that to the next level next season. If the Reds aren’t in the promotion mix from kick-off in August, he will be under significant pressure. The expectation levels will depend on the business the club does in the transfer window this summer.
Even though some supporters aren’t happy about it, O’Neill looks set to be in charge next season. He’ll be desperate to achieve success with the Reds in what could potentially be his final year of management. He only signed an 18-month contract at the club, and he has already stated that he will move on if he hasn’t achieved promotion by then.
That isn’t a lot of time to implement a ‘philosophy’ as Cohen states, but it’s a challenge O’Neill looks set to face head on.